Family of young girl wounded in synagogue shooting had run-in with anti-Semitic crime in 2015

Noyan Dahan, 8, was among those who were injured when a gunman opened fire April 27 at a Poway synagogue.
(Courtesy of family)
San Diego Union-Tribune

For the family of a girl hurt Saturday in the Poway synagogue shooting, the violence was not their first brush with anti-Semitism since moving to the United States from Israel in search of a safer life.

The girl, identified as Noya Dahan, 8, of Mira Mesa, was hit with shrapnel in the face and leg when a gunman opened fire on worshipers at the synagogue, Chabad of Poway. Noya and two other people were hurt in the shooting, and a woman — Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, of Poway — was killed. Noya’s uncle was among those injured in the attack.

The suspected shooter, a 19-year-old man authorities identified as John T. Earnest of Rancho Peñasquitos, was arrested Saturday after allegedly fleeing the synagogue in a hail of bullets fired by a U.S. Border Patrol agent working there as a security guard.

Saturday’s shooting was not the first anti-Semitic crime against the Dahan family since moving to the U.S. from Israel in 2014. Their home in Mira Mesa was vandalized during the Passover holiday in April 2015, according to news reports at the time.


Giant red swastikas were painted on the family’s garage door and the hood of their pickup around 11 p.m. April 5, 2015, according to the news reports.

Noya’s father, Israel Dahan, told Fox 5 San Diego at the time that his family had moved from Israel to find a safer life, and that the vandalism had left them fearful.

Recalling the vandalism and the shooting Sunday in an interview with an Israeli radio station, Israel Dahan said the crimes had not caused the family to regret its decision to move to the U.S., according to the New York Times.

“We love America. ... It can happen anywhere — in any mall, and in any hospital and in any family gathering and in any place,” Dahan told the station, according to the article. “We are strong. We were born to be strong.”


Noya’s injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said Sunday.

Morgan Cook writes for the San Diego Union Tribune.